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Ellen Eisenberg

Dwight & Margaret Lear Professor of American History

Headshot of Ellen Eisenberg

Contact Information

Salem Campus

Eaton 216
900 State Street
Salem  Oregon  97301
503-375-6944 (Fax)


  • PhD, History, University of Pennsylvania
  • BA, American Studies, Carleton College

Research and Teaching

Ellen Eisenberg has taught in the History Department since 1990, and holds the Dwight and Margaret Lear Chair in American History. She teaches courses on American and African American history since the Civil War, American social history, American Jewish history, American immigration history, the 1960s, Reconstruction, and a research seminar called History in the Archives. Several of her courses serve as electives for the American Ethnic Studies program.

Ellen Eisenberg's research centers on the history of American immigrant and ethnic communities, particularly American Jewish communities. Since the mid-1990s, she has focused on Jews in the Pacific West, with an emphasis on relationships between Jews and other minority ethnic groups. She has written four monographs on Jews in the West, as well as publishing a number of articles and book chapters. The First to Cry Down Injustice? Western Jews and Japanese Removal during WWII (2008), was a National Jewish Book Award finalist. Her two-volume history of Jews in Oregon was published in 2015 and 2016.


After the Civil War: Reconstruction, Jim Crow & the Lost Cause

American Immigration History

African American History, 1865-present

Topics in American History, 1865-present

History in the Archives

American Jewish History

History Workshop: Race and Ethnicity in the American West

Books — Edited and Authored

The Jewish Oregon Story, 1950-2010 (2016)

Embracing a Western Identity: Jewish Oregonians 1849-1950 (2015)

Jews of the Pacific Coast: Reinventing Community on America's Edge (co-authored with Ava Kahn and Bill Toll, 2010)

The First to Cry Down Injustice? Western Jews and Japanese Removal during WWII (2008)

Jewish Agricultural Colonies in New Jersey, 1882-1920 (1995)

Book Chapters

“State of the Field: Jews and Others,” invited essay for American Jewish History 102(2), April, 2018, pp. 283-302.

“Cultivating Jewish Farmers in the United States and Argentina,” in Transnational Traditions: New Perspectives on American Jewish History, (2014).

“Looking for Zalman: Making Historical Scholarship Visible to Undergraduates,” The History Teacher 38(3), May, 2005.

“Civil Rights and Japanese American Incarceration,” in California Jews, (2003).

“'As Truly American as Your Son’—Voicing Opposition to Internment in Three West Coast Cities,” Oregon Historical Quarterly, Winter, 2003.

“From Cooperative Farming to Urban Leadership,” in Jewish Life in the American West, (2004).

Reviews and Translations

Eisenberg, Ellen. “Review of Immigrants in the Far West: Historical Identities and Experiences.” Western Historical Quarterly (2016).


Faculty Achievement Award, Research and Teaching, 2015–16

Willamette University

History Department

Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
503-370-6061 voice
503-370-6944 fax